Last 3 plays: rivenproctor (10/10), RJOhio (8/10), Guest 173 (10/10).
Lone Star StateTar Heel StateKeystone StateTreasure StateCotton StateBeaver StateBeehive StatePine Tree StateMount Rushmore StateShow Me State* Drag / drop or click on the choices above to move them to the answer list.
Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. Pine Tree State
If you have ever been to Maine, you know that there are lots and lots of trees there! In fact, about 89% of the state is covered with forests. While there are many different types of trees found in Maine, the white pine stands out because it is the largest conifer there.
The first Europeans who explored the area valued the tall white pine trees and harvested the lumber for ship's masts.
2. Keystone State
Did you know that a keystone is the central wedge in an arch? It's the piece that holds all the others together; without a keystone, the arch would fall. There are several theories that explain why Pennsylvania is called the Keystone State. Back in 1776, when the colonies were voting about separating from Britain, John Morton, one of the nine delegates from Pennsylvania, broke a 4-4 tie in favor of independence. The nickname might have derived from Pennsylvania's vote being the keystone vote.
Another theory originated with a speech that Thomas Jefferson made in 1802 in which he called Pennsylvania the "Keystone of the Federal Union". Yet another proposal about the nickname is that Pennsylvania's location above six of the original thirteen colonies and below six others makes it the Keystone State.
3. Tar Heel State
There are lots of pine trees in North Carolina too! European settlers in North Caroline processed tar, pitch, and turpentine from the trees; the icky sticky substance would then be used as a protective coating on ships to help prevent leaking and discourage ship worms.
Not only did the substance smell bad, but it was messy too; workers would typically be coated with the stuff, even on their feet! It was not until the Civil War, however, when the first documented usage of the term "tar heel" took place, and it wasn't a compliment!
4. Cotton State
Alabama is situated in the middle of an agricultural area called the Cotton Belt. After Eli Whitney invented the cotton gin in 1793, Joseph Collins, a farmer from Alabama, started growing the crop there. By 1821, just two years after Alabama became a state, farmers were exporting $3,000,000 worth of cotton a year. Soon Alabama was producing 23% of the cotton grown in the United States.
Now some of you may know that Alabama is also called the Yellowhammer State. That nickname was the result of the poor quality of gray dye that was available to Alabama soldiers during the Civil War. Some of their uniforms seemed to have yellow highlights, much like a small bird called the yellowhammer.
5. Show Me State
There are two stories that have circulated over the years to explain Missouri's nickname. One involves Willard Vandier, who was a US Congressman. He gave a speech in 1899 in which he commented that people from Missouri don't believe stories that don't have tangible proof that they are accurate. In other words, "Show me that what you are saying is true".
The other story is derived from a time when Missouri coal miners filled in for Colorado coal miners who were on strike. Apparently those Missourians needed a lot of help and guidance. So much so that the other miners said that they got tired of hearing the words, "Show me".
6. Mount Rushmore State
South Dakota has had a variety of nicknames during its history, including the Coyote State and the Blizzard State, both for obvious reasons. Gutzon Borglum, however, changed that when he sculpted the Mount Rushmore memorial in South Dakota from 1927-1941. Dedicated to George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, and Theodore Roosevelt, the memorial was constructed to represent the development of the nation's history.
The nickname was officially adopted in 1992.
7. Lone Star State
Did you know that Texas is one of the states (Hawaii is the other) that was an independent country before it joined the United States? The lone star is said to have represented Texan unity during the Texas Revolution from 1835-1836. Texas gained independence from Mexico in 1839 and became the Republic of Texas.
At that time a red, white, and blue flag with one star was adopted. Even though Texas joined the United States in 1845, the same flag is used today.
8. Treasure State
Gold was discovered in Montana in the 1860s, which proved to be very beneficial to the Union during the Civil War. President Lincoln wanted to make sure that the potential wealth didn't fall to the Confederacy, so he worked to ensure that Montana became a territory of the United States in 1864; statehood followed in 1889. In 1874, after the gold appeared to run out, there was a major silver strike in the state. After that copper was discovered, as well as sapphires and garnets. It was a real treasure trove!
Some of you might know another nickname for Montana - Big Sky Country. This name is used due to the small population in the state and lack of tall buildings.
9. Beehive State
Bees have a reputation for being busy and working hard for the betterment of all who live in the hive. The early European settlers of Utah, especially the Mormons who came in 1847, had a reputation for working hard and being industrious. Beehives were depicted on the state seal when Utah was admitted into statehood in 1896, but it did not become the official state emblem until 1959.
10. Beaver State
Beavers are native to the United States, and centuries ago the animals were found all across the land. It has been estimated that prior to European settlement there were 400 million beavers, and Oregon, with its many streams and rivers, had its fair share of the animal population.
It may be hard to imagine, but there was a time in the history of the United States when beaver pelts, that were thick and mostly waterproof, were the rage in Europe and every gentleman wanted a beaver hat! Although the trapping of the animals quickly led to diminished numbers, the trade routes used by trappers led to the establishment of the Oregon Trail and the European settlement of the area in the 1840s.